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I got some mini usb led lights to illuminate the area under the lower screen. One for the left usb port and one for right. They would blink, intermittently and with no discernible pattern. Thinking they were defective, I got 2 more. Same thing. This time I had the presence of mind to test them in a computer usb port. There they were fine.

This leads me to think that the usb ports under the screen are either defective, or this is by design. Does anyone have any thoughts?

These lights:

 

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A wild guess is that they are pulling too much current. However, it might be a loose fuse that has momentary disconnect/reconnects as the fuse connection heats/cools with current draw.

The fuse for USB ports is under the back seat. You'd have to lift up the seat cushion, pull out the covering panel from its slot, and check fuse 34 (red 10A fuse). Take out the fuse, bend the contacts slightly so that when you put the fuse back it in is ensured of a good physical contact.

There's also a 5A (tan) USB controller fuse there at position 29.

I've got aftermarket LED lights in another vehicle. One of them is a "courtesy light" in the driver door that lights up when I open the door. It will heat up and start flickering if the door is left open for a couple of minutes. It isn't the physical connection of the LED. It may be the quality of the brand of LED or that batch. I had the same problem with one of two I put in for the rear license plate. It could be the quality of the brand or just the batch.
 

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I got some mini usb led lights to illuminate the area under the lower screen. One for the left usb port and one for right. They would blink, intermittently and with no discernible pattern. Thinking they were defective, I got 2 more. Same thing. This time I had the presence of mind to test them in a computer usb port. There they were fine.

This leads me to think that the usb ports under the screen are either defective, or this is by design. Does anyone have any thoughts?

These lights:

I have the same problem. I thought they would work but I just removed the lights. Not eager to try any other USB LED lights.
 
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